Described as the verbal eye-roll, fast riser, DEJA is marking her territory with her sweet yet sassy vocals. From Birmingham but currently living in the vibrancy of West London to pursue her music career, it is easy to see DEJA’s alliance within the music industry, starting at the tender age of 14. She began her journey by singing, writing, and taking to the stage for her school talent show. The term fast riser is used loosely as it has been an easy fit for DEJA in the industry having grown up with a family full of musical enthusiasts, sourcing inspiration from the likes of Stevie Wonder, Destiny’s Child, Aaliyah, and Usher. Now in her 20s, Deja has crafted and perfected her sound, obtaining attention from The Jacksons, Emeli Sandé, Etta Bond, to name a few. Her latest single, Wishin’, is a little different from her other discography, stripping back her signature sass and forefronting her natural and seductive harmonies.
We caught up with DEJA, at a very exciting time in her journey…
How did the single Boujee, come about?!
So, I wrote Boujee when I was particularly feeling myself. I felt so good on that day. The sun was shining, my skin was glowing, my titties were sitting RIGHT. Simply put, I wanted my listeners to feel this good too. So, co-writer and producer, Corey K, and I sat and captured this energy in the track. It actually took me a few tries to get the hook right. I tend to write my best when driving so one day I played the unfinished Boujeefull blast through the car speakers and it just came got me – “I’m that bitch yeah, I’m that, I’m that bitch YEAH”.
What does self-love mean to you?
Self-love is just looking after oneself and that looks different to and for everybody. It could be looking after your mind in therapy, it could be looking after your body by eating right, or maybe a trip to the hairdresser. It’s doing what’s right by yourself. And it’s all so important to me because I’m naturally the type of person to give and give and give until I drain myself dry. Self-love is something we actively have to allow ourselves. Sohoney, go get your nails did!
What and who are you inspired by?
I’m inspired by the badass bitches around me. Being raised by a strong mami and growing up with my incredibly inspiring sister, it was inevitable that I would be the outspoken woman I am now! With music, I was always most obsessed with the songs and music videos that embodied female power.
Can’t Hold Us Down – Christina Aguilera ft. Lil Kim. Girl!!! The amount of times I would watch and listen to that song. I’m a rebel at heart and growing up with the music of the noughties allowed me to harness that energy. I Don’t Need A Man – Pussycat Dolls, Overprotected – Britney Spears, Diva – Beyonce. These songs and artists were all instrumental in the development of the DEJA you’ve got today.
Describe your music in three words…
Bad. Ass. Bitch.
How has it been navigating your career during a pandemic?
Honestly not too much changed for me. My team are incredible. We stayed on top of all of the behind-the-scenes stuff and worked remotely. We even released a little home music video during the first lockdown with my whole team on zoom directing!
Do you notice your strong female presence in a male dominated industry?
I don’t feel the male dominance so much. I built a team of mostly females, so I’m almost always surrounded by female energy. And when we do encounter the male species, they already know how to act around us. Correct.
What would you be doing if you weren’t performing?
Performing still but with no audience, I suppose.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
What is the biggest lesson you have learnt so far?
That I need to just keep pushing. Things will feel slow and pointless at times looool but it’s all a process.
Do you have a message you want to give your supporters?
I LOVE YOU. Love yourself too and I can’t wait to meet you x